Annual Report 2018


Digital Readings

Supporting four French-language media outlets in Lebanon in their development

Calendrier : June 2017 – May 2019 / Budget global : €130,000

In Lebanon, despite facing significant economic difficulties, the French-language press is appreciated by many Lebanese people who still feel an attachment to France and the French language. This context is favourable to the development of a French-language editorial output produced in the country.

The Lectures numériques (Digital Readings) project supports four French-language Lebanese media organisations, selected after a call for applications, in structuring and modernising their content, in order to widen their audience:

  • Assafir Al-Arabi, a digital platform, in Arabic, French and English, that offers an independent publishing space for journalists, researchers, artists and writers from the Arab world, with an Arabic-speaking regional audience and a non-Arabic-speaking international audience;
  • Le Commerce du Levant, a French-language economic news website aimed at the Lebanese public and the diaspora;
  • Magazine, a French-language economic, political and social news website aimed at the Lebanese public and the diaspora.
  • YomKom, a news website for 15- to 18-year-olds, in Arabic and French, launched in November 2018, already supported by Digital East, has also joined the project.

Faced with the economic crisis, the French-language media in Lebanon have a great capacity for resilience, as there is a large reservoir of potential French-speaking readers.”
Paul Khalife, Chief Editor of Magazine

Enhancing the use of social networks

The project defined a programme for individualised support for each of the media outlets in order to create and develop new digital output and to enhance the strategic, editorial, technical, marketing and economics skills of the teams. Accordingly, Assafir Al Arabi has significantly increased its content in French originally published in Arabic, YomKom has consolidated its output, Le Commerce du Levant has launched its newsletter and the editorial team at Magazine has enhanced its digital skills. For all of these media outlets, the emphasis has been placed on the development of the use of social networks, through the use of videos, podcasts and data visualisation. 

This project builds on the objectives of Digital East and has already helped around fifty employees, 85% of whom were women.

Starting from the experiences of other media organisations and those of the CFI experts, we have analysed the points to be developed and improved upon. This has given us new ideas in relation to digital technology and for developing our financial model.” 
Nahla Chahal, director of publications of Assafir Al Arabi

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